Excerpt from Over The Edge

It was disappointing to wake up alone after having gone to bed with Brett and Leo. The former had been her lover for almost a year, while she had shared her nights with Leo for decades until they had separated fifteen years earlier. All she had to confirm that she had not imagined the entire thing were their lingering scents around her and the last notes of pleasure still drumming inside her like an echo. Her last thought before she had fallen asleep had been to hope her morning would be at least as interesting as her night, if not more. Instead, she was alone in a cold bed. Clearly, she would have to teach her men some manners.

She could hear their voices behind the door. Soft voices. They weren’t shouting; that had to be a good sign. Curious about what they were talking about, she stood, stretching her arms high above her as she did. She had half a mind to walk out of the bedroom naked, and tease them with what they were missing – what they could have had if they had stayed in bed with her. She changed her mind at the last second when she saw Leo’s shirt on the floor by the door and picked it up to slip it on, fastening only one button. She was a couple inches shorter than Leo, and the shirt’s hem danced against her upper thighs and ass, keeping her decent when she stepped out of the bedroom.

They turned to her at once. Sitting on the facing sofas in the middle of the living room, they both held a mug. If she was to judge by the scent, they were sharing coffee. After the previous night, she would have expected them to share something more intimate, and to do so wearing a lot less clothes, even if they were both bare chested. Then again, she was the one who had led them to the same bed despite Leo’s wariness and Brett’s jealousy. With the return of morning, they might need more prompting to get closer again.

“I guess it was too much to hope that one of you would remember how much I hate waking up alone.”

At her grumble, they exchanged a look, although she couldn’t tell if it held more embarrassment, regret or guilt. She needed to shake sleep off completely if she was to try and read them, and for that she would need something stronger than coffee. Thankfully, there was always a generous supply of blood in the fridge. She hunted every night in the club she had helped Brett design, choosing willing prey in the crowd of dancers, but she could just as well dine in rather than hunt when she wanted.

Turning her back on them, she entered the open floor kitchen. The marble counter felt cold and smooth beneath her fingers when she rested a hand on it and opened the fridge. At the sight of the stacked blood packages, the hunger inside her roared. With Leo’s surprise arrival the previous night, she had barely had any blood, and she was famished. She pulled a plastic bag out and used scissors to cut a corner, emptying it into a large cup, careful not to spill a drop. While the microwave buzzed lightly and warmed the blood, she rinsed off both the scissors and bag, hanging the first back on their hook by the microwave and disposing of the second in the special container for medical waste beneath the sink. All of it was so habitual, she didn’t need to think about what she was doing, and was free instead to think of the two men in the other room.

All she had had in mind, when bringing Leo up to the apartment above the club where she lived with Brett, had been to spend a night with them. It had been a tribute to long gone times where Leo was concerned, and an offering to Brett of something she knew he wanted, without daring to take it for himself. But as time had passed, as memories of her happier years with Leo had resurfaced, as she had seen Brett’s jealousy dissolve into lust and need, she had begun wondering. One night might become two, or a week. A month. More, maybe. It would all depend on what happened when she returned to the living room.

The microwave pinged and she almost jumped, startled. Those daydreams were more intriguing than she had expected.

She took a sip from her mug before stepping out of the kitchen. The taste held the comfort of habit, which was just what she needed with the uncertainty ahead. No noise had come from the living room while she was in the kitchen, and when she walked out she found Brett and Leo exactly where she had left them. Her first instinct was to curl down next to one of them to sip on her blood, but that would have meant choosing, and she wasn’t sure it would have been a good idea at this point. She also wasn’t sure which of them she would have chosen.

Taking slow steps toward them, she kept her attention on her full mug to make sure the blood wouldn’t slosh over the edges. Even so, she could feel two sets of eyes on her, the awareness like a prickling sensation at the base of her skull. Brett’s eyes were green, light, always full of life. Leo’s were darker, but deeper. They held more secrets, though Lisa had pierced them all, or so she had thought. At that moment however, both men were looking at her with the same intensity, the same fire. It was enough to make her just a little lightheaded. Or that might have been the hunger.

“So what have you boys been talking about?” she asked once she had sat down, her legs folded beneath her. The armchair she had chosen was perfectly centered between the two men.

It was Brett who answered, which surprised Lisa a little. Leo had always been quick to assert himself, doing so easily the previous night, yet she had the feeling that he had waited for Brett to take the lead.

“We’ve been talking shop, mostly. Did you know Leo is a bartender?”

“I did not. But I told you, it’s been a long time since Leo and I saw each other.”

Brett nodded as he leaned forward to place his empty mug on the coffee table. There was something in his gaze, almost a question, that she wasn’t quite sure how to interpret.

“Turns out, Leo was the vamp who never showed up for that interview yesterday,” he continued, his tone very carefully neutral. “The vamp I told you I would have hired if he had just come by. So I offered him the job.”

The hesitation was there, too small, Lisa thought, for anyone but her to notice it. It was barely a breath taken too deeply, then a huff of air coming out too fast. She observed him carefully as she took a slow drink from her mug. With his forearms resting on his legs as he leaned forward and his fingers linked together, he appeared calm, as calm as the day he had signed the deed for the building that had been the first step toward On The Edge. He was sure of himself, sure he was making the right decision. The hesitation was about what she would think. A quick glance toward Leo was enough to reveal that he was wondering the very same thing.

“I’m glad.” She gave Brett a small smile, then a matching one to Leo. “I’ve been saying for weeks that we needed a vamp behind the bar.”

Leo’s first words were full of a teasing filled with fondness. “And you always get what you want, don’t you?”

“Of course I do.” Her matter of fact tone drew twin chuckles from both men. What she added next, with an almost lazy slide of her right hand along her leg, made them swallow hard. “Not that I’ve ever had complaints.”

She let a few seconds pass, just enough to drink a little more and to let her eyes wander over one man then the other. Brett’s loose sleeping pants and Leo’s tighter slacks revealed the same renewed interest, but it was too soon to go back to playing. Business first.

“Do you have a place to live?” she asked Leo, turning her attention to him but remaining very aware of the way Brett’s body shifted.

“I arrived in town just yesterday, so I haven’t really found one yet. I just dropped my things off in our old lair before coming to the club, but I’m not sure I want to live there.”

Lisa inclined her head to show she understood. She herself had lived in that lair alone for years, after she and Leo had gone their separate ways, to prove to herself that the shadows of her Sire and long-time lover weren’t hanging over her. The passing years had not made the memories any softer.

“It’d make sense if you found something very close to the club,” she mused aloud, very careful not to look at Brett. “You wouldn’t have to travel too much by daylight when you start early or finish late, if you did.”

The apartment wasn’t hers, she had repeated often enough to Brett that she considered herself his guest and nothing more. She wouldn’t extend an invitation to Leo to live with them. But she could hint at the possibility, and see how Brett played that tune. She didn’t want to push him into something he wasn’t ready for, and there was certainly a large step between sharing a bed with two vampires for one night and sharing his life with them.

Brett’s amused look made it clear that he knew what game she was playing. “That’s actually the reason for the two lofts across the hall, if you recall. I’ll go down to the office to get the key. If you don’t mind living so close to us, that is.”

The last was directed at Leo, who shook his head with a quiet laugh. “No objections, no. It sounds like a fine arrangement to me, actually.”

Lisa could easily see what he meant by that. Just a few hours after coming back to Haventown, he had found a job, a place to live in, and two lovers. It could have been better, she supposed, if Brett had invited him to live with them, but the loft near them was already a big step. She wondered what Brett thought or felt, but his face, when he stood and came to brush his lips against her temple, was impenetrable. She caught his hand before he moved away and let the heat of her need warm her voice.

“Want to have a shower before you go work?”

He squeezed her hand, an acknowledgment that he, too, remembered the last shower they had shared.

“I already took one, but Leo didn’t yet. Why don’t you ask him to join you?”

She blinked, a little surprised, and let go of his hand to allow him to go. She’d never have expected him to push her toward Leo, not like this. Maybe he was more comfortable with the idea of sharing a lover with her than she had believed. Time would tell.

Pushing the questions away for the moment, she raised an eyebrow toward Leo.

“Want to scrub my back?”

He was laughing quietly when he stood and extended his hand to help her up.

… continued in Over the Edge

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